Closing Thought–06Apr17

Those presidential offspring!

The president’s children are always a focus for the media and this president is no different…..

Mr. Trump has his family in almost every aspect of the governing of this country.  His daughter has gotten an official office within the confines of the White House…..kinda reminds me of the Borjas in Italy and any number of authoritarian monarchs in the Middle East.

After ethics experts raised concerns about her acting as a informal adviser to her father, Ivanka Trump will join her husband as an unpaid government employee, the New York Times reports. Critics worried Ivanka Trump, who already has an office in the White House, could skirt ethics rules while advising President Trump, despite her promising to voluntarily comply with them. Sen. Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to the Office of Government Ethics on Wednesday, asking how ethics rules would apply to the president’s daughter, according to the AP.

A short time later, Ivanka Trump announced she would take an official position as an unpaid White House adviser with the title “assistant to the president.” She says this will allow her to be “subject to all of the same rules as other federal employees.” Those rules include prohibitions on conflicts of interest. Releases from both Ivanka Trump and the White House call her new position “unprecedented.” CNBC notes that Ivanka Trump has already sat in on her father’s meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

My thought is why is not the First Lady dealing with some of this stuff?

He, Trump, is giving the term “all in the family” a whole new meaning.  He is acting like some Middle East potentate where the family has all the positions whether they are qualified or not…

Let’s not forget his opponent in the last election, Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea……who was used in the closing days of the campaign liberally (no pun intended)…..

“I am not running for public office,” Chelsea Clinton tells Variety. After her mother’s loss to President Trump and with the rise of her own public persona, political pundits have been wondering if it’s Chelsea Clinton’s turn to try her hand at the family business, CBS News reports. Apparently not. In her interview with Variety, Clinton quashes such rumors—which she finds “rather hysterical”—and says she’s “constantly surprised by the stories of me running for, fill in the blank.” The 37-year-old says she’s been asked about running for office for most of her life and has never changed her answer. However, Clinton stops short of saying that answer will never change.

What total bullshit!  Remember when her mother was not considering running for president?  No one believed her then why should we believe dear Chelsea now?

God, I love these privileged presidential larva…

Update:  After writing this post word has come out that yet another Trump family member has joined the White House gang……his daughter-in-law, wife of son Eric will be working in the White House…..

Looking more and more like the family government of some sultanate in the Middle East.

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Lessons from the Tragedy of Woodrow Wilson’s War

Today is the 100 year anniversary of the US entering into the conflict that we call World War One…..

Today is a historical marker of immense importance in American history: it is the centenary of American entry into the Great War, later known as the First World War. One hundred years ago today, on April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany, following strong majority votes in both Houses of Congress and the impassioned speech of President Woodrow Wilson to a joint session on April 2, wherein he asserted that America must fight in the European war “to make the world safe for democracy.”

A century later, the ghosts of hallowed American war dead at Belleau Wood, the Second Battle of the Marne, and the Argonne Forest cry out to our political leaders of today with one searing question:  have you learned anything from our sacrifice?  From an objective perspective, a brief review of the historical context that led to war and its aftermath across time would appear to indicate that the answer to this seminal question is no.  However, in great humility and reverent remembrance for the fallen Americans of that war, the key lessons from the tragedy unleashed 100 years ago today are offered below, in hopes that their learnings can, in fact, be applied to the urgent problems presently confronting the Trump Administration.

Source: Lessons from the Tragedy of Woodrow Wilson’s War | RealClearDefense

We should NEVER forget!

It’s Always The “Insider”

Anyone remember Afghanistan?

Afghanistan is America’s longest running war….16 years and counting.

A point to be made here……we invaded Afghanistan in 2001 our aim was to get those that masterminded the 9/11 attacks….AQ and its allies.  Keep in mind that after 16 years we are fighting the Taleban, mostly….they had nothing to do with the attack that was carried out by AQ and about 15 Saudis….did we invade Saudi Arabia?….I cannot recall.

My point is that after 16 years and the destruction (mostly) of AQ in Afghanistan we are still occupying and fighting a group that had little to do with 9/11.

This quagmire has lingered and NO one notices….that is other than the troops who have to keep going back for multiple deployments.

The fight now is being carried out by so-called “insiders”…….this report takes a look into these sorts of attacks…its effects and causes……

Insider attacks—attacks by insurgents posing as Afghan police or military personnel against local or international forces—have become an important threat to the American and NATO personnel in Afghanistan. “We’re willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign. But we are not willing to be murdered for it,” as Gen. John R. Allen, then commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, put it in 2012.  Since 2007, insider attacks have resulted in the death of at least 157 NATO personnel and 557 members of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). The attacks have affected the public narrative of the Afghan war in the United States and partner countries and have sown a degree of distrust between NATO troops and ANDSF as they struggle to fight a common enemy. Despite the last sixteen years of engagement in Afghanistan, the United States and its NATO partners still fumble when trying to communicate with Afghans.

This report explains the scope of the insider threat and its underlying causes. It finds that “green-on-blue” attacks are often the product of cultural friction—a perceived insult, a cultural gaffe, or a small misstep that in the minds of certain Afghan forces take on much greater significance. It also demonstrates that increasingly after 2011, insider attacks became the preferred warfighting tactic of the Taliban, an organization that understood well how to apply limited resources for maximum effect. In fact, despite a reputation for cultural myopia, the Taliban’s use of insider attacks reveals that the group understood US military and political culture and domestic sensitivities far better than some imagined. Finally, the report examines the impact of insider attacks on the Afghan mission strategy and the implications for future US engagement in Afghanistan.

Read the full report here.

You know maybe now would be a good time to call it a win and bow out….I mean if it raises its nasty head again we can always return to the country and dismantle as we did in the beginning of this occupation.

Just a thought.

“America First’s” First Crack

WE are in the middle of the anniversary of World War One….although the US had a minor role in the conflict it still amazes me that it is not more important to Americans….I mean it is the war that created the world we live in today.

Even the History Channels in the US seems to avoid this conflict at all time…seldom is a mention of the war….a conflict that cost 53,402 American soldiers their lives…..and yet there is little mention of the conflict.

The modern world was created with the start of this war……and situations then are similar to situations now…….

In April 1917, Woodrow Wilson cast off the political yoke of neutrality and took the United States into World War I. But this is no ordinary centenary: the realization of Wilson’s vision of a US-led international order is raising many of the same questions today that it raised then.

The questions surrounding events between April 1917 and April 1919 – from America’s entry into World War I until the proclamation of the Covenant of the League of Nations – are much the same questions we face today, as we begin to mark those events’ centenaries. They are questions concerning the relevance of liberal internationalism for the future, and they become more poignant with each passing day of Donald Trump’s presidency in the United States.

Fascism died with World War II in 1945 (though in many places it survives in mutated forms), just as communism died as a living ideology with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. So will we now witness at the hands of the Trump administration the end of a framework that outlasted both of the twentieth century’s main totalitarian systems and brought relative order to a violent and chaotic world? If so, it is likely to be the result of issues much like those that shaped the rise of liberal internationalism a century ago.

Source: “America First’s” First Crack-Up by Tony Smith – Project Syndicate

Since I have studied conflicts and war for many years I have taken it upon myself to educate and inform my readers about the war and its consequences.

I may be farting in a wind storm but I feel that this part of history should not be ignored…..or forgotten.

The Rise of Global Authoritarian Populism

In the last couple years there has been a rise in authoritarianism…..across Europe far Right is making head way…France, Greece, Hungary and even England…….the US is not immune from the ravages of authoritarianism.

The big question is will this trend continue or will thew world come to its senses?

If populism’s need for an ”apocalyptic confrontation” proves accurate, it might lead the Trump administration’s ”systemic revolutionaries” far beyond even their most extreme rhetoric.

In 2016, something extraordinary happened in the politics of diverse countries around the world. With surprising speed and simultaneity, a new generation of right-wing populist leaders emerged from the margins of nominally democratic nations to win power. In doing so, they gave voice, often in virulent fashion, to public concerns about the social costs of globalization.

Even in societies as disparate as the affluent United States and the impoverished Philippines, similarly violent strains of right-wing populist rhetoric carried two unlikely candidates from the political margins to the presidency. On opposite sides of the Pacific, these outsider campaigns were framed by lurid calls for violence and even murder.

Source: The Bloodstained Rise of Global Authoritarian Populism: A Political Movement’s Violent Pursuit of “Enemies”

Does history dictate that a rise in authoritarianism has to occur every 50-100 years?